Matthieu Nicol
Test Subjects

Test Subjects is a selection of images from several American archives of scientific and military research, now in the public domain. The photos feature human bodies placed in unusual positions, often in mysterious environments that have a clear experimental atmosphere. The bodies are examined, manipulated, measured, quantified, and subjected to analyses that imply some form of resistance or physical reaction. At the invitation of COTM, Nicol proposes this iconographic exploration, in which he gives them an entirely new meaning and power. Test Subjects is a sequence conceived as a game of appearances, a visual experiment, an exhibition of human guinea pigs hard at work. Our unshakable faith in science is challenged by the very images that were supposed to validate it.


Matthieu Nicol (1978, Paris, France) is an iconographer, image collector and independent curator. He lives and works in Paris.

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